PEUGEOT'S 5008 has had a transformation - and a pretty big one at that.
Having long since been the French car maker's large MPV, or people carrier as they used to be called, it has now become a crossover/SUV.
The 5008's reinvention reflects changing market trends and the seemingly unstoppable demand for SUVs and crossovers in all their shapes and forms.
Wind the clock back a few years and MPVs were big business, the undisputed car of choice for people with large families, or those who needed to be able to transport seven people around.
While Peugeot's 5008 wasn't in the same all-conquering category as its rival the Renault Espace, it was a mainstay of the brand for many years, going through many incarnations and one might have imagined it would always be around.
Such a personality change isn't a first for Peugeot. Its 3008 underwent a similar transformation not that long ago, the former mid-sized MPV/crossover morphing into much more of a distinct crossover/SUV.
Just like any car maker these days Peugeot is keen to strengthen its presence in the market when it comes to SUVs and crossovers. Buyers like SUV-inspired styling and an elevated ride height right now, so anyone not cashing in is missing out.
The 5008's rebirth is interesting in that it sees it become very much the flagship model in the Peugeot range, a title the old MPV could never comfortably lay claim to, even if it was at various points the biggest and most expensive model in the Peugeot range.
It's a decent looking car that manages to exude a distinct yet familiar SUV-inspired purposeful profile with some sleek and appealing design lines.
On the inside the 5008 impresses instantly. A nicely proportioned and hugely open cabin (enhanced considerably by the panoramic sliding roof in this car) help to create a very welcoming environment.
This GT Line model sits fairly high up the range and has a lot of bells and whistles, including that panoramic roof (which will set you back £870) and has a distinct premium look and feel, almost as if higher end Peugeots are now taking a leaf out of stablemates Citroen/DS who have created a separate more upmarket brand.
This big Peugeot is certainly very different to more bog standard models in the car maker's range.
The digital display in Peugeot's i-Cockpit is crisp and clear and you get an even better view thanks to the trademark small steering wheel, which Peugeot now seem to be rolling out across the model range.
It could look a little odd on a car the size of the 5008 but it doesn't. This ‘mini' wheel might not be to all tastes but it is something you get used to and a case could be made for it enhancing the general driving experience as it aids manoeuvrability and feels snug and offers great feedback.
In terms of practicality the 5008 certainly measures up and even has seven seats like its predecessor. With all seven in use boot space is limited but if you need to be able to transport seven people either regularly or from time to time it's certainly up to the task.
With the rear two seats folded flat boot capacity is 952 litres, increasing to 2,150 litres with all the rear seats down.
The 5008 range is diverse, with plenty of trim and engine options.
An entry-level Active model powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine costs around £25,000 with a top end GT version powered by a 177bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine will set you back more than £36,000.
The 150bhp 2.0-litre engine in this car felt more than adequate.
When it comes to driving dynamics the 5008 manages to deliver, in the way would expect any mid to large-sized SUV to. Sure, there's a noticeable bit of pitch and roll when cornering at speed but for the most part it feels pretty composed and generally pretty car-like.
Interestingly despite those SUV looks there is as yet no four-wheel drive version available, though buyers can opt for Peugeot Grip Control is available to boost traction.
Ride quality is noticeably good, particularly cruising on long journeys. I notched up a fair few motorway miles during my week behind the wheel and it felt a pretty relaxing and comfortable place to be throughout.
It seems unfair to compare it to the old 5008 as they really are totally different cars.